Today's memorial service for civil rights activist Coretta Scott King -- billed as a "celebration" of her life -- turned suddenly political as one former president took a swipe at the current president, who was also lashed by an outspoken black pastor!
The outspoken Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, ripped into President Bush during his short speech, ostensibly about the wife of Martin Luther King Jr." She extended Martin's message against poverty, racism and war. She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar. We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction over there," Lowery said. The mostly black crowd applauded, then rose to its feet and cheered in a two-minute-long standing ovation. A closed-circuit television in the mega-church outside Atlanta showed the president smiling uncomfortably. "But Coretta knew, and we know," Lowery continued, "That there are weapons of misdirection right down here," he said, nodding his head toward the row of presidents past and present. "For war, billions more, but no more for the poor!" The crowd again cheered wildly.
Former President Jimmy Carter later swung at Bush as well, not once but twice. As he talked about the Kings, he said: "It was difficult for them then personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they became the target of secret government wiretaps." The crowd cheered as Bush, under fire for a secret wiretapping program he ordered after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, again smiled weakly. Later, Carter said Hurricane Katrina showed that all are not yet equal in America. Some black leaders have blamed Bush for the poor federal response, and rapper Kayne West said that Bush "hates" black people.
This is beyond disgusting. I have no problem with people voicing their opinion on any issue, but there is a time and a place. The funeral of a fallen American hero IS NOT the place! I am ashamed of this behavior. It's a disgrace to the civil rights movement whose very message was tolerance. What's worse is that these comments actually received applause! We expect this kind of behavior from Jimmy Carter and certain black leaders. But an entire congregation of people there to pay tribute to Mrs. King should condemn these words. Honor Mrs King and her life. Please leave the politics out of it.